I get by with a little help from my friends.

I recently went to Mexico with a group of my friends with the intention of unplugging, resting, having some fun, and exploring a new place. I really like the ocean because it makes me feel very small in a good way. The awe of it’s waves and bigness reminds me I’m apart of something much bigger than myself; it allows me to exhale and relax.

I had a great time enjoying all the things Mexico has to offer from the most delicious nachos to the most refreshing margaritas. The humid hot weather gave an invitation into the ocean to cool off. I wore my compression stocking the whole time I was there with my bathing suit and paired my black compression stocking with some jean short cut offs.

I was getting ready for dinner one night when I told my friend sometimes I feel insecure wearing my compression garment or I’m concerned about my body image in a bathing suit. She brought up the point of common humanity that we ALL feel insecure about something externally, especially in a bathing suit. It seems that flaw is amplified and everyone is looking at us. However, in reality, other people don’t notice as much as we think they do. They might even see us as a complete beautiful person. This is really good perspective. She also said if we never went out swimming because we were insecure about being in a bathing suit, we might be missing out on a lot.

Later that night, I was telling my friend I felt like my leg was really swollen due to the heat and the margaritas I had been enjoying. She is a PT and volunteered to MLD my leg. Keep in mind, I am a lymphedema therapist and know how to do this myself. The kindness of her volunteering to help me made the burden of dealing with my swollen leg easier to bear.

My last day I went to the beach and listened to the waves before I needed to take a shower and jump on a plane back to a normal routine. I was swimming in the ocean with my friend when I felt a sharp stinging zap on my lower leg, of course my leg with lymphedema… I raised my leg out of the water and screamed, “Alyson, could you help me?” She swam over and picked off the jelly fish larvae that had attached itself on my leg. The same thing had happened to her just a few days earlier.

I’m so grateful for the gift of my friendships who affirm, support, and pick off nepharious sea creatures when I need help. They are gifts on the journey and remind me that I am not alone.

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